GAO report says billions of our tax dollars flowed to Big Abortion

GAO report says billions of our tax dollars flowed to Big Abortion

GAO report says billions of our tax dollars flowed to Big Abortion

A government report released this week says billions of taxpayer dollars have been used to kill unborn babies during the current Biden administration.

The report, released this week by the Government Accountability Office, shows almost $2 billion went to Planned Parenthood and other abortion-industry businesses over a three-year period.

This comes while most Americans oppose use of their tax dollars to pay for abortion. A Marist poll released earlier this year showed 60% opposed or strongly opposed it.

Taxpayer-funded abortion has been a hot topic through most of 2023 thanks largely to Sen. Tommy Tuberville, the Alabama Republican who tried to reverse a Department of Defense policy that gives service members and and their dependents paid leave time and pay for travel for abortion-related services.

The Hyde Amendment of 1980 banned federally-funded abortion except in extreme circumstances but various federal plans have skirted around settled law for many years.

In fact, while Tuberville battled the DOD many of his Senate colleagues took on taxpayer-funded abortion, saying Hyde Amendment protections have grown increasingly “at risk.”

“Most Americans do not want their heard-earned tax dollars being used for abortion-on-demand, but our current patchwork of regulations has brought years of uncertainty,” Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) said. “The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act would simplify federal rules, ensuring that American tax dollars are never used for the destruction of innocent, unborn life.”

In fact, the more than $1.89 billion federal dollars used for abortion and related services from 2019-2021 represented a drop of about $100 million from the previous three-year period.

“We came in about $100 million less this three-year period than the previous GAO report for the previous three years under (presidents) Obama and Trump,” Ben Johnson, a Washington Stand reporter and editor, told the Washington Watch program Tuesday.

The drop was due largely to pro-life policies enacted during the Trump Administration, Johnson told show host Tony Perkins.

Trump reinstated the Mexico City policy, among other powers, that blocks U.S. money for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that provide abortion counseling or referrals. Its use has ebbed and flowed with various presidents.

Planned Parenthood took financial hit

Trump also enacted the “Protect Life Rule,” which redirected federal money to comprehensive family health and planning centers that don’t perform abortions and do not view abortion as healthcare.

The Protect Life Rule made a big impact on money designated for abortion giant Planned Parenthood through Title X, the grant program created in 1970 to assist with family planning and preventive health services.

According to Johnson, the Protect Life Rule was a big financial hit for Planned Parenthood since 90% of its funding through HHS comes through Title X funding. The rule stipulated a Title X recipient can't perform abortions in the same facility where family planning funds are being collected. 

“Not only did Planned Parenthood pull out of the program for more than a year, but also at the same time, it exposed that Planned Parenthood really cares about abortion, not about health care,” Johnson said.

Planned Parenthood funding didn’t come only from Title X. Thirty-eight affiliates received another $90 million in taxpayer funds from the Paycheck Protection Program which was designed to keep small business afloat during government-mandated COVID lockdowns in 2020.

“This was highly controversial," Johnson pointed out. "The PPP program was only supposed to be available to people who have less than 500 employees. Planned Parenthood and its federation has more than 16,000 employees, so they counted each chapter separately."

There is current legislation in the House from Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Arizona) to have this money sent back to the government, Johnson said.

“Obviously there was a great deal of business attrition during that time. Any one of those businesses would have been happy to have this money go to them instead of this billion-dollar abortion industry,” Johnson said.

“Congress should do everything it can to cut off all future funding of Planned Parenthood if for nothing else but to assure the Hyde Amendment applies equally to all federal funding,” the Washington Stand editor added. 

Abortion road trips more popular

S.A. McCarthy, a second Washington Stand news writer, told Perkins a lot of pro-life states implemented trigger laws that anticipated overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion ruling. 

"A lot of these states border states that have no abortion restrictions,” McCarthy said, using blue-state Illinois as an example of an abortion destination. 

“Illinois borders three states -- Indiana, Kentucky, and Missouri -- all of which have enacted stringent pro-life legislation," he said. "So you've got people in those states seeking abortions traveling to Illinois, which has no restrictions on abortions.”

McCarthy compares the current patchwork of state laws to pre-Civil War America where individual states had their own definitions of what constitutes human life.

There are efforts to create a national standard – one being legislation put forth by South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham that would ban abortion at 15 weeks – but states seem far from agreement right now.

“We're going to have this diametrical ideological opposition that's really at the heart of the value of human life. Human life is not going to be able to maintain any value in America unless we agree on what constitutes a human life and where it begins,” McCarthy said.

Reacting to the GAO report and the abortion funding, pro-life activist Ed Martin, of STOPP International, tells AFN Planned Parenthood is a "big, big business" in the industry.

"At the heart of the business is killing and abortion," he says, "but the American people need to hear this."

Editor's Note: This story has been updated with comments from Ed Martin.